Chapter 576 Ad finished!
It was past 5 AM.
The effects of the Strength Potion was already wearing off. Although he had recovered quite a bit of strength in the middle of the night, that did not mean it wouldn't be used up. Zhang Ye was starting to yawn continuously but kept pinching his brows with his fingers to keep himself up so that he could continue sticking the cigarettes onto the prop.
Just a little more!
Nearly there! Almost done!
Suddenly, Zhang Ye glimpsed the silhouette of a person who had appeared beside him at some point, which ended up sending shivers down his spine. He half screamed, "Woah!"
It was an amiable looking old lady with a headful of white hair.
Xu Yuhong said with a smile, "Did I give you a fright?"
Zhang Ye said casually, "I did get frightened since you didn't even make a sound when you walked in."
"It's not that I didn't make a sound, but rather because you were perhaps too focused," said Xu Yuhong.
"That's true." Zhang Ye continued his work and said, "But it was a good fright. I was almost unable to hold off my sleepiness any longer, but I'm good now since you got me there."
Xu Yuhong asked, "Why are you not resting?"
Zhang Ye looked at the cigarette in his hand before sticking it on, and answered her without turning to face her, "I would've slept if I could've. The problem here is that I can't since there's still a bunch of work that's waiting for me to finish. Which department are you from?"
Xu Yuhong spoke, "Me? I'm from upstairs."
Zhang Ye said, "From the Equipment Department? Are you working overtime or did you just get to work?"
Xu Yuhong smiled. "I've just arrived. You could say that I have an early shift today."
Zhang Ye said, "Then it must be hard on you. You haven't retired yet?"
Xu Yuhong sighed, "I can't retire yet, but I've still got some strength left in me. Besides, my grandchildren are still depending on me to raise them."
Zhang Ye said, "You still have some strength? At your age, you should be relaxing instead."
Xu Yuhong laughed. "I'm still healthy and in good shape."
"Really?" Zhang Ye looked at her.
Xu Yuhong nodded. "I just did a checkup at the beginning of the year. I'm as good as you young'uns."
Zhang Ye clapped and said, "You're that healthy? That's good then. Aunty, quick. Since you're here for work early and have nothing to do yet, do you see this box here? Help me take the cigarettes out one by one. When I glue one onto this model here, you pass a new one to me." Having said so, he had already designated a task for the old lady. "It'd be nice if you just took it out lightly and not squeeze it until it gets bent. Thanks, Aunty. I'll buy you a meal sometime. I'm afraid that I won't have enough time to complete this if I do it by myself. This task is really urgent!"
Xu Yuhong was stunned. "Huh?"
Zhang Ye said, "Please, Aunty."
Xu Yuhong said, "...Sure." She was tickled by what was happening here. She bowed over to take a cigarette out of the box, and gave it to him. "You're Zhang Ye, right? I've heard that you don't have a terribly good relationship with Beijing Television Station. This is their problem, so why are you so bothered about it?"
Zhang Ye took the cigarette from her and stuck it onto the model. "Heh, I'm not doing this for the television station. It's just Beijing Television Station, what's it got to do with me? If they were the ones who looked for me to help them, I wouldn't have cared even if they offered to pay me. This bro's advertisement productions cannot be bought by just money alone."
Xu Yuhong glanced at him and offered the next cigarette to him. "Then why?"
Zhang Ye said matter-of-factly, "For a friend. Brother Hu was the one who brought me into the television industry. Back when I had offended the radio networks and had no place to go, Brother Hu helped me by roping me into Beijing Television Station. It was right here that I managed to have a program of my own and raise my name. Do you think I would forget about it? Just a call from Brother Hu and I would agree to help him no matter what. There are some favors that one must repay no matter what. Moreover, I did not ask for a single cent from Beijing Television Station. Do you know why? Because I'm repaying the love I have for the station. That's why I agreed to take on this project. If I don't accept any money from them and in turn do them a favor, then I will no longer owe the station anything. I will have paid my dues. It doesn't matter if others care about this or know about this at all. As long as I'm comfortable with myself, it's good enough. I'm the kind of person who others may let down, but I must never let others down!"
Xu Yuhong narrowed her eyes and said, "So you still have some love for the station?"
Zhang Ye casually remarked, "I'm a born and bred Beijinger too. Since childhood, I've watched the programs on this station, so even if I say that I don't have any feelings for it, I doubt anyone would believe me. But what happened later definitely made me a little bitter. It's a complicated matter, yeah, but it's already in the past."
Xu Yuhong continued handing him the cigarettes as she said, "There isn't much time left till tomorrow's final approval deadline, right? You haven't even completed the prop yet and you're talking about recording the ad? It's almost dawn. I doubt you'll be able to finish it. Forget it. Why don't you drop what you're doing and let's sit down to have a chat." She turned to look for a chair.
Zhang Ye said, "Heh, didn't you say you were in good health? That you were as good as us young'uns? But you've just been here for a short time and you're already feeling tired? Don't tell me you were just boasting?"
Xu Yuhong: ".........."
Zhang Ye said, "Aunty, help me for a little longer, won't you. A healthy lifestyle depends on exercise and this isn't even be considered heavy lifting. It's good for your body to move about and around."
"There's definitely not enough time," Xu Yuhong said helplessly.
Zhang Ye said with determination, "There's definitely enough time."
Xu Yuhong raised her hand and showed it to Zhang Ye. "Look at the time yourself."
Zhang Ye still smiled, and then said, "I don't need to see. There's definitely enough time."
Xu Yuhong asked, "Why are you so sure?"
Zhang Ye said, "Because I promised a friend I would do it. Besides, this ad doesn't involve me alone, so there can't be any mishaps. I've already made the promise, so I must carry it out. Would I have any face left otherwise? When Brother Hu helped me last time, he did not make any excuses or exploit me by taking advantage of my situation. Besides, I'm still full of energy now, so how can I just drop it like that? Even at the eleventh hour, I must do it even if I have to pay for it with my life!"
Xu Yuhong looked at him, then walked back again and took out another cigarette to pass to him. "You haven't slept in 24 hours already, right? You're tempting fate now. Are you sure you can handle it?"
"Yes." Zhang Ye's tone was very light but also quite determined.
Xu Yuhong acknowledged him and said, "Then I will help you all the way to the end."
One cig followed by another.
As he chatted with another person, Zhang Ye did not feel as sleepy anymore. The number of mistakes he made due to lack of concentration was also reduced. With every movement, he became more familiar with the repetitive motions which also helped speed things up.
Finally, the 3D model of the pair of lungs was complete!
Zhang Ye did not know what time it was nor did he bother to check. After he completed the model, he anxiously did a 360-degree check for any problems before also taking a camera and recording the full structure of the prop once over!
Xu Yuhong looked at the model. "Is this a model of a pair of lungs? How are you intending to make this ad? The quit smoking ads these days are all quite similar. How can there still be any fresh ideas?"
Zhang Ye laughed. "You'll know when the video is done."
Xu Yuhong contemplated for a moment before saying, "What I'm curious about right now is how you intend to use the 3D model. You've spent so much effort to make this with pure manpower? Why didn't you use CGI instead? Why didn't you make a computer model? Isn't that more convenient? After you've completed the model, don't you still have to digitize it for the final shot?"
Zhang Ye was already setting up the video camera, "That's different. A computer is not everything. Some effects can only be realistically shown by using an actual item!"
All preparations done!
He switched on the camera and started recording!
He started off with a shot from the front, zooming in slowly. Next, for the partial shots, he experimented with many different angles to capture the footage. Even though Zhang Ye was not a professional camera operator, he still knew some of the skills. Besides, the ad footage was really simple to begin with since it did not involve any people nor any narration. There was just this prop model of a pair of lungs, so it didn't need a real professional camera operator to record the footage. It was a piece of cake!
After the initial shots were filmed, it was time for a more troublesome step. It was a long continuous take, so there couldn't be any hiccups. If he got it wrong, it would be a disaster as he would then need to build a new model again to reshoot the footage. After thinking about it for a while, Zhang Ye had a stroke of genius. He decided that he would experiment on the previously flawed model first.
He retrieved some props he had gotten others to prepare for him earlier and then laid out the storyboard he had "planned" to identify three ignition points on the 3D model pair of lungs. He then began. He first lit a part of it to test the self-assembled inhaling mechanism. It seemed to not work too well at first, so he made some adjustments after which everything went smoothly. Then he lit the second and third spots. All three ignition points were supposed to have different amounts of cigarettes that had to be lit and could not be the same as the others. Some needed two cigarettes to be lit while another spot needed ten.
10 minutes later, the test run was done.
Xu Yuhong, observing the whole process, had gradually revealed an amazed expression. "Little Zhang, I think I know what effect you're trying to achieve."
Zhang Ye was getting a little nervous at this point. "The next one will be the actual recording. I have to get it right in one take."
Xu Yuhong went up to him and said, "Let me help you with the camera. You look inexperienced and probably don't know how to operate it." She placed her hand on the equipment and switched some controls with a few clicks and clacks, pressing some buttons and then adjusting the screens, her actions not understood by Zhang Ye, but were definitely those of a professional.
Zhang Ye's eyes brightened. "Aunty, I'm depending on you then."
Xu Yuhong smiled and said, "Just pay attention to what you're doing over there and leave the rest to me."
Zhang Ye reminded her, "You better not miss the shot."
"Don't forget to press the record button."
"...I won't forget to do that."
"Are you really going to be OK?"
"...Are you going to light it or not?"
Zhang Ye gave a few more worried looks before finally kindling the fire. He was being very careful. At this moment, he held his breath, knowing that all the hard work in the past 24 hours was for this one take!
The fire lit!
The three ignition spots started to burn!
Xu Yuhong adjusted the lenses, slowly changing focus while signaling with her hand.
Seeing that, Zhang Ye pressed button on the self-assembled inhaling mechanism and the ignited spots burned brighter, adding a more dramatic feel to the burning sequence. Inhale. The ignited spots burned brighter. Inhale again. The ignited points burned brighter again!
Soon after, the recording was completed!
Zhang Ye quickly ran over to check out the finished product. When he saw that the old lady had perfectly recorded everything he had wanted, he couldn't conceal his excitement any longer. He retrieved the recorded footage and quickly went into a workstation to do the post-production! Most of the remaining work was done earlier by the technical staff from the Advertising Department. All he needed to do now was put them together!
Zhang Ye furiously tapped away at the computer. His capabilities in network technology needed no mentioning. After all he was the famous "2", a globally wanted hacker. But when it came to ordinary technical skills like 3D object manipulation, they were not something he dared flatter himself on. He was only as good as the typical student doing a non-computer related major.
Seeing his clumsy handling, Xu Yuhong couldn't help but say, "Come on, let me do it instead."
"You even know how to do this?" Zhang Ye was a little stunned.
Xu Yuhong smiled and replied, "I worked as a reporter, an editor, and many other related jobs in the television industry when I was young. Although I don't use them often, my basics still exist. So this won't trouble me at all. Just sit down beside me and tell me what your concept is. You are the supervisor while I edit it according to your concept."
Zhang Ye thought to himself, wondering why an old lady who was in charge of equipment would be so versatile and talented in so many areas??